A number of reports emerging across the European media this afternoon suggest that Arsenal are closing on the signing of Lorient starlet Alexis Claude-Maurice.
Claude-Maurice, a versatile 21-year-old attacker, came up through the youth ranks of Lorient, before breaking into the club’s first-team setup for the first time in 2017.
And the gifted Paris-native has since gone on to establish himself as one of French football’s most highly-regarded young talents.
Claude-Maurice, who possesses both an eye for goal and a creative streak, can play on either wing, in an attacking midfield role, or even as a forward.
Across 35 appearances in Ligue 2 this past season, he racked up 14 goals and 4 assists.
And Claude-Maurice’s impressive showings at the Stade du Moustoir have not gone unnoticed across Europe.
Both Arsenal and West Ham are rumoured to have set their sights on the starlet’s signature this summer.
In fact, reports in the French media last month suggested that both Premier League clubs had seen opening bids rejected by Lorient, with Arsenal ready to return with a second offer:
🇫🇷 🔴 #PL |@Arsenal et @WestHamUtd ont formulé une offre à Alexis Claude-Maurice. Le joueur du @FCLorient attire les convoitises de nombreux clubs dont l’@AS_Monaco, le @PSG_inside ou encore @DieRotenBullen. pic.twitter.com/TmyJ90JwAY
— Euro United (@EuroUnited6) May 24, 2019
Breaking | @MohamedTERParis, who 1st broke Matteo Guendouzi to Arsenal last summer, tells Get French Football News that the Gunners have had a bid rejected for Alexis Claude-Maurice already, but they will go in with a 2nd offer. More follows tomorrow.
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 24, 2019
In addition, amid the links between the Gunners and Claude-Maurice, the Lorient prodigy was also spotted on the Instagram story of former teammate Matteo Guendouzi:
Alexis Claude-Maurice on Guendouzi’s story 👀 pic.twitter.com/Zc6vHitqBw
— Carl (@MajesticMesut) May 23, 2019
Imminent Emirates switch?
And, as per the latest updates quickly spreading across the European media this afternoon, Arsenal appear to be on the verge of securing Claude-Maurice’s signature.
First, the reliable Soccer Link claimed that the north Londoners have agreed personal terms with the Frenchman.
They add that, though an agreement has not yet been finalised between Arsenal and Lorient, a transfer could be completed ‘in the coming days’.
Soccer Link suggest that Arsenal’s latest bid comes in at 20 million Euro (£18 million), plus bonuses.
Get French Football News, citing sources via Mohamed Toubache-TER (the journalist who first reported Matteo Guendouzi’s move to the Emirates), though, have countered by claiming that the Gunners’ 2nd offer, worth 16 million Euro, was rejected by Lorient.
However, GFFN add that a 3rd bid is set to arrive shortly, with a deal appearing ‘imminent’:
Alexis Claude Maurice has agreed personal terms with Arsenal – a deal does feel imminent, but not done. https://t.co/luvH3GI21b
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) June 15, 2019